It Had to Be You

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New York City, 1924

Determined to pursue her dream of becoming a crime reporter, heiress Trixie Frank believes she's off to a running start when she lands a job at the most successful tabloid in Manhattan. Unfortunately, her high hopes fade fast when she's assigned to the rewrite desk.

Sean Costigan is a demoted homicide detective on the commissioner's blacklist. The last thing he needs complicating his life is a perky debutante with delusions of becoming the next great American journalist. Too bad she happens to hold one of the keys to solving his latest case, the Central Park murder of a notorious gangster. The other key? Sean's childhood sweetheart, the victim's widow, who has gone missing.

Sean soon has more trouble with dames than any good man deserves. But that's the least of his worries. When he suspects deadly corruption within his own department, it's not just his and Trixie's careers that depend on finding the killer. It's their lives.

98,000 words
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Additional Information

Publisher
Carina Press
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Published on
Apr 7, 2014
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Pages
100
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ISBN
9781426898129
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / General
Fiction / Romance / Historical / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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“Inspired by a real-life unsolved mystery, this mesmerizing novel features characters that make a lasting impression.”--PEOPLE MAGAZINE

"More meticulously choreographed than a chorus line. It all pays off."--THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW


They say behind every great man, there's a woman. In this case, there are three. Stella Crater, the judge's wife, is the picture of propriety draped in long pearls and the latest Chanel. Ritzi, a leggy showgirl with Broadway aspirations, thinks moonlighting in the judge's bed is the quickest way off the chorus line. Maria Simon, the dutiful maid, has the judge to thank for her husband's recent promotion to detective in the NYPD. Meanwhile, Crater is equally indebted to Tammany Hall leaders and the city's most notorious gangster, Owney "The Killer" Madden.

On a sultry summer night, as rumors circulate about the judge's involvement in wide-scale political corruption, the Honorable Joseph Crater steps into a cab and disappears without a trace. Or does he?

After 39 years of necessary duplicity, Stella Crater is finally ready to reveal what she knows. Sliding into a plush leather banquette at Club Abbey, the site of many absinthe-soaked affairs and the judge's favorite watering hole back in the day, Stella orders two whiskeys on the rocks—one for her and one in honor of her missing husband. Stirring the ice cubes in the lowball glass, Stella begins to tell a tale—of greed, lust, and deceit. As the novel unfolds and the women slyly break out of their prescribed roles, it becomes clear that each knows more than she has initially let on.

With a layered intensity and prose as effervescent as the bubbly that flows every night, The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress is a wickedly entertaining historical mystery that will transport readers to a bygone era with tipsy spins through subterranean jazz clubs and backstage dressing rooms. But beneath the Art Deco skyline and amid the intoxicating smell of smoke and whiskey, the question of why Judge Crater disappeared lingers seductively until a twist in the very last pages.
The midnight shadows of Renaissance Venice conceal intrigue, romance...and murder.
"Combines historical context with lush sensuality and nuanced wit." — Publisher's Weekly Bianca Salva's love of science has led her to defy the conventions of her day and illicitly practice medicine among the poor of Venice. She's managed to keep her pass time a secret—until she is discovered over the lifeless body of a young courtesan, by the last person she'd ever want to see.

Ian Foscari, Conte d'Aosto, is known for being rich, handsome...and heartless. Finding Bianca over the dead body, he concludes she's the murderer. Yet for reasons he cannot explain, her protests move him. He offers to give her one week to prove her innocence, but she'll have to move into his house and be his prisoner. Her other option: the authorities and certain death.
Bianca has no choice but to agree to his maddening terms. She's furious at having to cede her hard won freedom, and unprepared for the effect of his presence on her, for the longings he awakes in parts of her body she's only studied in books. As Bianca struggles to focus on finding the killer, Ian fights his own battle between the undeniable attraction he feels for her and the painful scars of his past. 
When their mutual attraction blazes to life, they are both dazzled by it's force. Passion burns through their reserves, teaching them both to trust again. Love again. But this fragile alliance is soon tested. Lured into a web of scheming and betrayal, Bianca and Ian find themselves in a race against the clock to save their lives, their hearts, and the city of Venice itself.
"Jaffe...develops a sensual, exciting, and amusing tale, richly embellished with details of Renaissance life." — Library Journal

"Jaffe's characters are intriguing, and the plot's many twists and turns are wonderfully entertaining." — Booklist
A marquess in need of the right bride. An earl’s daughter in search of a purpose. A betrayal that ends in murder and balloons into a threat to the realm.

 

Sebastian Cynster knows time is running out. If he doesn’t choose a wife soon, his female relatives will line up to assist him. Yet the current debutantes do not appeal. Where is he to find the right lady to be his marchioness? Then Drake Varisey, eldest son of the Duke of Wolverstone, asks for Sebastian’s aid.

Having assumed his father’s mantle in protecting queen and country, Drake must go to Ireland in pursuit of a dangerous plot. But he’s received an urgent missive from Lord Ennis, an Irish peer—Ennis has heard something Drake needs to know. Ennis insists Drake attends an upcoming house party at Ennis’s Kent estate so Ennis can reveal his information face-to-face.

Sebastian has assisted Drake before and, long ago, had a liaison with Lady Ennis. Drake insists Sebastian is just the man to be Drake’s surrogate at the house party—the guests will imagine all manner of possibilities and be blind to Sebastian’s true purpose.

Unsurprisingly, Sebastian is reluctant, but Drake’s need is real. With only more debutantes on his horizon, Sebastian allows himself to be persuaded.

His first task is to inveigle Antonia Rawlings, a lady he has known all her life, to include him as her escort to the house party. Although he’s seen little of Antonia in recent years, Sebastian is confident of gaining her support.

Eldest daughter of the Earl of Chillingworth, Antonia has abandoned the search for a husband and plans to use the week of the house party to decide what to do with her life. There has to be some purpose, some role, she can claim for her own.

Consequently, on hearing Sebastian’s request and an explanation of what lies behind it, she seizes on the call to action. Suppressing her senses’ idiotic reaction to Sebastian’s nearness, she agrees to be his partner-in-intrigue.

But while joining the house party proves easy, the gathering is thrown into chaos when Lord Ennis is murdered—just before he was to speak with Sebastian. Worse, Ennis’s last words, gasped to Sebastian, are: Gunpowder. Here.

Gunpowder? And here, where?

With a killer continuing to stalk the halls, side by side, Sebastian and Antonia search for answers and, all the while, the childhood connection that had always existed between them strengthens and blooms…into something so much more.

 First volume in a trilogy. A historical romance with gothic overtones layered over a continuing intrigue. A full length novel of 99,000 words.

 

 

Praise for the works of Stephanie Laurens

 

“Stephanie Laurens’ heroines are marvelous tributes to Georgette Heyer: feisty and strong.” Cathy Kelly

 

“Stephanie Laurens never fails to entertain and charm her readers with vibrant plots, snappy dialogue, and unforgettable characters.” Historical Romance Reviews

 

“Stephanie Laurens plays into readers’ fantasies like a master and claims their hearts time and again.” Romantic Times Magazine

 

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Family secrets come back to haunt Jack Reacher in this electrifying thriller from “a superb craftsman of suspense” (Entertainment Weekly).

Jack Reacher hits the pavement and sticks out his thumb. He plans to follow the sun on an epic trip across America, from Maine to California. He doesn’t get far. On a country road deep in the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been: the town where his father was born. He thinks, What’s one extra day? He takes the detour.

At the same moment, in the same isolated area, a car breaks down. Two young Canadians had been on their way to New York City to sell a treasure. Now they’re stranded at a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere. The owners seem almost too friendly. It’s a strange place, but it’s all there is.

The next morning, in the city clerk’s office, Reacher asks about the old family home. He’s told no one named Reacher ever lived in town. He’s always known his father left and never returned, but now Reacher wonders, Was he ever there in the first place?

As Reacher explores his father’s life, and as the Canadians face lethal dangers, strands of different stories begin to merge. Then Reacher makes a shocking discovery: The present can be tough, but the past can be tense . . . and deadly.

Don’t miss a sneak peek of Lee Child’s novel Blue Moon in the back of the book.

Praise for Past Tense

“Child is one writer who should never be taken for granted.”—The New York Times Book Review

“[Lee Child] shows no signs of slowing down. . . . Reacher is a man for whom the phrase moral compass was invented: His code determines his direction. . . . You need Jack Reacher.”—The Atlantic

“Superb . . . Child neatly interweaves multiple narratives, ratchets up the suspense (the reveal of the motel plot is delicious), and delivers a powerful, satisfying denouement. Fans will enjoy learning more of this enduring character’s roots, and Child’s spare prose continues to set a very high bar.”—Publishers Weekly (boxed and starred review)

“Another first-class entry in a series that continues to set the gold standard for aspiring thriller authors.”—Booklist (starred review)

“With his usual flair for succinctness and eye for detail, Child creates another rollicking Reacher road trip that will please fans and newcomers alike.”—Library Journal (starred review)
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